You may not find it in the news

You may not find it in the news but here is my story and I hope it inspire someone not to give up.

I was raised and born in Makoko
I lost my Mum at 7
We moved to Bariga at 12, another slum in Lagos
My dad lost everything at 12, sold his property and couple of stuff
I hawked sweet and spaghetti at 13
At 15, I was awarded the best prefect in my secondary school
At 15, I also worked as a labourer in construction sites
At 15, I taught basic education in a nursery school
At 15, we were sent packing from our rented apartment in Bariga. Nearly homeless for the first time.
At 17, I worked as Airtel KYC agent, registering sim
At 17, I got admission into the University
At 19, 20, won the university scholarship award
At 20, appointed as the deputy commandant of the Nigerian Red Cross
At 21, in my final year last semester had a 5.0 GPA, scored A in my project dissertation.
At 21, Graduated has the best student in my department
At 22, won the NYSC Edo State Award.
At 23, Founded a non-profit to support children of my kind.
At 23, attended my First international conference.
At 23, started a blog with over 100,000 views
At 24, selected as an SDGs Youth Champion with
African Monitor
and engaged Office of the Senate President
At 24, selected as a Fellow, Carrington Youth Fellowship Initiative and winter $5000 grant with other 4 fellows.
At 24, won the Keenista African Youth Competition Award.
At 24, awarded Talent of the Future Africa
At 24, featured by UNFPA as a global goal champion
At 24, spoke at an international summit
At 25, won the United State Consul General Award
At 25, completed, authored my first book and sold in more than 3 countries
At 25, became a Fellow-in-Residence and Regional Manager of a global non-profit in the United States (
Peace First
At 25, won a scholarship in the UK (IDS)
At 25, facilitated in another continent outside Africa
At 26, won two most prestigious scholarship (Chevening and
Mastercard Foundation
At 26, studying at the
The University of Edinburgh
(top 20 in the world, best in Scotland and top 5 in the UK)
At 26, completed my second book titled 5 years
At 27 graduated from the The University of Edinburgh
At 27, won the First-ever Ufahamu Africa Essay contest for my piece on life and politics in Africa
At 27, Published my Second book on Amazon
At 27, became, the first young African Board Member at Peace First
At 27, worked with the MasterCard Foundation and co-created a mentoring programme for refugees in Uganda
At 27, got a role with Refugee Education UK.
I have done many other things that I cannot remember but I am proud of the journey. One thing that I have learned is living in the present and dedicating one’s life to impacting someone at the right and left side of you. My friend would say, “I have never seen someone who served humanity in vain” Nature has a way of rewarding good work. When life throw lemons at you make lemonade!
Inspired by Vicent Adeoba’s story
Hammed Kayode Alabi (c) 2021

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